Tropical Fruit Forum - International Tropical Fruit Growers



Author Topic: Lychee Thread  (Read 6876 times)

marklee

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 665
    • Chula Vista, California Zone 24 or 10b
    • View Profile
Re: Lychee Thread
« Reply #25 on: December 22, 2013, 03:11:36 PM »
Yup, Quang has fruited his Kaimana and I believe Mark may have tasted it, not positive. I have definitely seen his Kaimana when it was flowering and holding fruit. I remember I was surprised that it bloomed and held fruit even though his tree is in part shade.

I have several Varieties of lychees and I noticed that the female flowers on Kaimana has much smaller ovaries than other varieties. This may be caused by my trees being so small but I did notice this on both my Kaimanas. This is the opposite from what I experience with Emperor Lycjees which have some of the largest and strangest looking female flowers/ovaries.

I believe Kaimana will fruit fine here in San Diego.

Simon
Simon and Oscar,

You are correct, Ong's Kaimana fruits fine, it is in partial shade, gets in the 30's every winter and looks great. The fruit is real good. Quang is a master at growing these "rare" fruits for California. He has a degree in botany and even though he is only 41 he has at least 30 years experience.

LEOOEL

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1659
    • USA, South Florida, Miami, Temperature Zone 10b
    • View Profile
Re: Lychee Thread
« Reply #26 on: December 23, 2013, 11:06:29 PM »
As far as I know at my Zone 10b location in S. Florida, USA, the 'Mauritius' lychee is the one to beat over all others in terms of reliable yearly production and production quantity. It also gives other cultivars a run for their money in the quality of taste and size of fruit.
'Virtue', learn/teach/propagate it, you'll save others and yourself.


LEOOEL

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1659
    • USA, South Florida, Miami, Temperature Zone 10b
    • View Profile
Re: Lychee Thread
« Reply #28 on: December 25, 2013, 05:20:23 PM »
Again, taking all into consideration, hands down, the one to beat and improve on, the best lychee is 'Mauritius.'

Still, I'm always looking for some other lychee with the same yearly productivity, with a better fruit quality and larger size. I believe that it's out there, probably somewhere in Asia, to be found and discovered by the rest of the world.
'Virtue', learn/teach/propagate it, you'll save others and yourself.

sunworshiper

  • Oviedo, FL (9b)
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 301
    • View Profile
Re: Lychee Thread
« Reply #29 on: December 27, 2013, 10:08:50 AM »
I read the article on pruning in Hawaii to induce flowering with great interest. This is the first year that my emperor lychee is large enough to fruit. I started tracking its growth flushes in July following the LycheeOnLine timetable. My tree started a growth flush on July 21 which seemed perfect. But it seems my tree is on a less regular growth cycle than the timetable. It started the next growth flush on Sept 9th, which is well ahead of LycheeOnline's projected timetable for a flush mid-october. Then my tree started its current growth flush on 11/25. That growth flush is fully expanded now, but not yet hardened off. So for my tree there was 7 weeks between the first and second flush, then 11 weeks between the second and third flush, so the next flush if I assume that it will be between 7 and 11 weeks from the start of the last flush would be Jan 13 - Feb 10.

So here's my question - should I leave it alone, or should I prune this currently expanding growth flush as they did in the Hawaii article to induce flowering? I'd really love to get my tree to set fruit this year. For those of you growing emperor lychees, when do they typically bloom in FL? I'm in the Orlando area.

simon_grow

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3328
  • USA, San Diego, CA, Zone 10a
    • View Profile
Re: Lychee Thread
« Reply #30 on: December 27, 2013, 02:14:03 PM »
Hey Sunworshiper, I read several articles on pruning lychees and you just have to be sure that you are not confusing varieties. I know there was at least on article that discussed pruning of Kaimana at a certain time to significantly increase yields but the same article said there was no significant difference in yield when several other varieties were pruned.

I would drop lycheesonline an email or give them a call. In my opinion, I would not prune right now as you have stated that the leaves are grown out already and are currently hardening. If you prune now, you would loose a lot of growth on an already small and dwarf type tree. If you prune now, it will likely induce another flush, veg or floral, only Mother Nature knows but you do know that your tree recently spent a good amount of energy on its current flush. You would be draining the stored energy by inducing another flush now which will likely reduce yield or drop the stored reserves in your tree below the critical mass required for fruiting so you may just get another veg flush.

Exactly how large is your tree? If it's large enough and you really must have fruit this year, you can take a chance pruning now, if your tree is large enough, it may have resources to bloom and fruit. You may also consider girdling a branch without pruning if your tree is large enough. Do not give any Mitrogen fertilizer right now. I would give your tree some organic 0-10-10 right now and also foliar feed with kelp emulsion today.

If I were you, I would let your tree do its own thing and get larger. You may still be able to get this veg flush to harden off, rest, and if you get a late cold snap, you could get fruit. emperors fruit pretty consistently when they are established from what I have seen. Patience as a virtue is often tought but all too often rarely practiced.
Simon

sunworshiper

  • Oviedo, FL (9b)
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 301
    • View Profile
Re: Lychee Thread
« Reply #31 on: December 27, 2013, 02:43:28 PM »
Simon, thanks a lot for your advice. Yes, I was wondering how well the pruning advise applied to different varieties. Anyone have any experience with pruning vegetative growth in December in FL to share?

Here's a shot of my tree for size reference. It is approximately 6' tall and the trunk is about the size of my wrist:


It has sized up really well since I planted it in 2010. Here it was at planting:


So fertilizing now with the 0-0-10 will help to stimulate bloom? What does the foliar feeding do? I've had bad luck with those last year, I use them successfully on other trees, but the lychee seems too prone to fertilizer burn.

cbss_daviefl

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 812
    • USA, Southwest Ranches,FL 33331, 10B
    • View Profile
    • bfgtropicals.com
Re: Lychee Thread
« Reply #32 on: December 27, 2013, 02:44:40 PM »
I agree with Simon and would not prune.  I think LycheeOnline's advice is geared to south FL.  Their timetable is setup to time the flush during cold weather, of which, Orlando has a higher frequency. For example, Orlando is forecast for 47F on Tuesday but Ft Lauderdale is forecast for 62F.  That is probably cold enough to induce flowering for Orlando but not Ft Lauderdale. I believe LycheeOnline is growing primarily in Homestead with a secondary grove in Davie. 

Emperor has been reported to die back after heavy fruiting so thinning may be required on young trees.
Brandon

simon_grow

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3328
  • USA, San Diego, CA, Zone 10a
    • View Profile
Re: Lychee Thread
« Reply #33 on: December 27, 2013, 05:49:49 PM »
Boy your tree looks fantastic, super healthy. I can't believe how fast they grow in Florida! A tree that size should be able to hold some fruit. If you fertilize with 0-10-10, that will ensure your tree has enough potassium and phosphorus for healthy blooms and will also help sweeten up the fruit and possibly promote larger fruit. If you use organic bloom fertilizer, your tree won't actually be able to utilize the fertilizer for some time but I prefer organics because it's better for the worms and other organisms in your soil.

In your situation, if you wasn't fruit this year, it may be better to use chemical liquid bloom type fertilizer so your tree can have quicker access to the nutrients but I like to stay away from chemicals for my lychees because they are very sensitive to over fertilization. Next year try to give the organic 0-10-10 about two or three months before you expect blooms.

Foliar feeding with kelp extract gives your trees quick access to many major, minor and trace elements. Kelp also has natural plant hormones like auxins and cytokinins that may be beneficial to blooming. There is little to no risk of fertilizer burn with kelp extract if you follow the directions. Even with this organic fertilizer, I would dilute the fertilizer in half( from what manufacturer suggest) and just apply twice as often. I also like to use a sticker when I foliar feed to help the plants get more nutrients. When you foliar feed, it's important to do it when it's not too hot or bright, late evening or very early morning is good. A nice cloudy day would work as well. Please keep us updated, with our strange weather, you may still get fruit.
Simon

sunworshiper

  • Oviedo, FL (9b)
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 301
    • View Profile
Re: Lychee Thread
« Reply #34 on: December 27, 2013, 09:20:22 PM »
Cbss, thanks for the tip on die back after heavy fruiting, I had not heard that before. So is it daytime, nighttime or both temps that affect flowering? We can have cold in December, but have had very little so far. A week ago daytime temps were upper 80s.

Thanks for the fertilizer info Simon. I fertilized in summer with the banana fertilizer that Don at going bananas sells. He recommended it for young lychees, and it has really helped with growth. It is also high in potassium, so that should have helped making enough potassium available for bloom. Don recommended switching to k only for mature trees, but I'm less clear on when to give it. What is the fertilizer program you recommend for mature trees? Do you  fertilize only prior to bloom? Or at any other time of the year also?

AnnonAddict

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 470
  • Currently growing plants
    • California, Zone 9b-10b, SoCal
    • View Profile
Re: Lychee Thread
« Reply #35 on: December 28, 2013, 01:27:19 PM »
Here is my Kaimana lychee, I received it from Norman Beard and he got it from Mimosa in L.A






Click on pic for full resolution.
Jack

cbss_daviefl

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 812
    • USA, Southwest Ranches,FL 33331, 10B
    • View Profile
    • bfgtropicals.com
Re: Lychee Thread
« Reply #36 on: December 28, 2013, 02:53:23 PM »
I interpret the chill requirement from Lychees Online as 68F daytime temps since 68F nighttime temps are frequent.  When I checked your 12/31 forecast was for 68F/47F, which falls in the temp range.  Your 10 day forecast had three days in the flower producing range and south broward had none.

Quote from: Lychees Online
Lychee trees grow in recurrent cycles of growth followed by periods of dormancy. Typically, a South Florida lychee tree will experience 4 - 6 annual growth flushes depending on the age and size of a tree. The trick is to have the tree enter the cooler months in a state of dormancy so that the next wave of emerging buds develop into bloom spikes, providing that the temperatures are at or below 68 degrees F (20 degrees C).


http://www.lycheesonline.com/HowToGetTreeToFruit.cfm


Cbss, thanks for the tip on die back after heavy fruiting, I had not heard that before. So is it daytime, nighttime or both temps that affect flowering? We can have cold in December, but have had very little so far. A week ago daytime temps were upper 80s.
Brandon

sunworshiper

  • Oviedo, FL (9b)
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 301
    • View Profile
Re: Lychee Thread
« Reply #37 on: December 29, 2013, 05:49:24 PM »
I've decided not to prune and to let nature take its course. Fingers crossed! Thanks for all the great advise. Thanks Brandon for the temperature interpretation. I wonder further - is it important that the temperature stay below 68 during the flowering time as much as possible? Or is there a cumulative effect of "chill hours" like there are for stone fruits?

Great looking new tree AnnonAddict! Good luck with it!

simon_grow

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3328
  • USA, San Diego, CA, Zone 10a
    • View Profile
Re: Lychee Thread
« Reply #38 on: December 29, 2013, 10:45:06 PM »
I believe I read somewhere that high daytime temps can negate some of the accumulated chill hours so consistent temps around 68f are very important and high daytime temps say in the 80s will be detrimental to blooms, possibly causing mixed blooms even if enough chill hours were reached.
Simon

Mike T

  • Zone 12a
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6778
  • Cairns,Nth Qld, Australia
    • Zone 12a
    • View Profile
Re: Lychee Thread
« Reply #39 on: December 29, 2013, 10:59:48 PM »
The commercial lychee areas around Mareeba have average winter maximums around 80f and rarely get down to 72f.At Innisfail the max temps are even higher in the lychee areas being in the 80's most of the time so the lower chill cancelling doesn't seem to hold.
There are some more temperate types that have lower threshold chill temps.

simon_grow

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3328
  • USA, San Diego, CA, Zone 10a
    • View Profile
Re: Lychee Thread
« Reply #40 on: December 30, 2013, 12:27:42 AM »
Thanks for the information Mike. Seems your temps are kinda similar to ours, it got around 84 here in San Diego for a couple scattered days. My friends Mauritius has partial blooms forming and my Sweetheart only has a vegetative flush. None of my other Lychees are blooming yet but there's still time for my next flush to break buds in cold weather.
Simon

Mike T

  • Zone 12a
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6778
  • Cairns,Nth Qld, Australia
    • Zone 12a
    • View Profile
Re: Lychee Thread
« Reply #41 on: December 30, 2013, 12:41:30 AM »
Mauritius and Bosworth (need least amount of chilling) fruited alright in Cairns this year and winter max's routinely reached 85f and the min was as low as 57f a couple of times and was as high as 72f.This is at the warmest extremity of lychees being able to produce and more like say....Belize City than southern California.

simon_grow

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3328
  • USA, San Diego, CA, Zone 10a
    • View Profile
Re: Lychee Thread
« Reply #42 on: December 30, 2013, 08:49:56 AM »
It's been around 38-45f for our lows here at night, I guess that's where the big difference is. Our trees are pretty confused as to what to do. I will withhold water and prune next year in hopes of getting a decent harvest the following year. I may also experiment with girdling one of the main branches since my sweetheart is getting larger.
Simon

sunworshiper

  • Oviedo, FL (9b)
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 301
    • View Profile
Re: Lychee Thread
« Reply #43 on: December 30, 2013, 09:12:31 AM »
Wow - what great information! I am surprised that the commercial growing areas have such warm min temps. Mike's data does seem to indicate that just nighttime lows are enough. Mike, is it wet or dry during lychee bloom time there?

Also, I didn't know that lychees had different chill requirements. Are there any data tables out there listing chill hour requirements? That would be very interesting to look at. I think I remember reading that emperor is slightly more cool tolerant than other varieties. Part of the reason I chose it - I'm zone pushing here a bit. We tend to get a small number of freezes here each year. So I manage my trees to keep them small enough to fit under a frost shelter=)

sunworshiper

  • Oviedo, FL (9b)
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 301
    • View Profile
Re: Lychee Thread
« Reply #44 on: January 01, 2014, 05:22:07 PM »
I string my tree with xmas lights each year, just in case I need some last minute frost protection. As I was stringing the lights, I noticed in the interior of the tree that there are two branches that are crossing badly that I had not noticed before. I will need to remove one in the spring to make a good scaffold structure. So this affords and interesting opportunity. I selected the branch to remove, then tip-pruned the terminal ends of that branch according to the technique used in the Hawaii article. Will provide a nice little experiment to see if that branch has more blooms than the rest of the tree before I remove it fully.

nch

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 372
    • SoCal
    • View Profile
Re: Lychee Thread
« Reply #45 on: January 01, 2014, 06:01:32 PM »
Sunworshiper, good that you found a way to experiment. Instead of just cutting the branch off, can you do an air layer? My plants are so small, I cringe every time I hear about pruning. The branches the guy in the video threw away are bigger than my plants. LOL.

sunworshiper

  • Oviedo, FL (9b)
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 301
    • View Profile
Re: Lychee Thread
« Reply #46 on: January 01, 2014, 09:11:09 PM »
Hmm, interesting idea! Thanks for the suggestion! It would make a good sized air layer. Not that I have room for another tree - but good for trading I suppose. I'll have to read up on the technique, as I've never tried it. Does what time of year matter for air layering?

nch

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 372
    • SoCal
    • View Profile
Re: Lychee Thread
« Reply #47 on: January 01, 2014, 11:11:45 PM »
SW, I have not done a lychee air layering, I need to read about it too, but I have done on some other trees eg guavas, pomegranate, longans, and wax jambus. Not that hard to do. Sphagnum moss is easier to handle than peat moss. Here are some videos from Youtube.

Air Layering Lychee by Pete Part 1 Palm Beach Rare Fruit Council


Air Layering Lychee by Pete Part Two Rare Fruit Council Palm Beach


Air Layering Lychee

cbss_daviefl

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 812
    • USA, Southwest Ranches,FL 33331, 10B
    • View Profile
    • bfgtropicals.com
Re: Lychee Thread
« Reply #48 on: January 02, 2014, 05:55:06 PM »
Cold is not a requirement but it does help.  I have a potted Olan that I got about a month ago.  It started to flower last week.  This variety is from the Philippines so I am hoping it will fruit more frequently with our warm winters.  The air layer was removed from the mother tree in early September.  Maybe potted lychees flower a little more frequently than in the ground?
 




I also have a No Mai Tsze that is just starting to flower. 





I have 16 additional Lychee trees.  13 are currently pushing vegetative and 3 are undecided. 
Brandon

nch

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 372
    • SoCal
    • View Profile
Re: Lychee Thread
« Reply #49 on: January 02, 2014, 08:45:18 PM »
I so envy you Floridians for your tropicals trees, especially your lychee trees.

 

Copyright © Tropical Fruit Forum - International Tropical Fruit Growers